Jessie Voigts bio:
Jessie Voigts has a PhD in International Education, has lived and worked in Japan and London, and traveled around the world. She has published seven books about travel and intercultural learning, with more on the way. Jessie is one of the top 50 travel bloggers in the world and was named a White House travel blogger with her site, Wandering Educators, a travel library for people curious about the world. She is constantly looking for ways to increase intercultural understanding and is passionate about study abroad and international education. She founded and directs the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program, teaching teens all around the world. She also publishes Journey to Scotland and i8tonite.
Following is my interview with Jessie:
What is your background, Jessie?
I have always been interested in learning about other people, places, languages, food, and cultures. I have a PhD in International Education and am passionate about study abroad and starting travel young. We worldschool with our daughter, who is 15.
Explain the philosophy of Wandering Educators.
Wandering Educators is a travel library for people curious about the world. I love to publish a wide range of global experiences—we have over 35 editors on our site!—as well as honor the work of writers, artists, and photographers. The arts give us a fantastic glimpse into humanity.
How did you get started with Wandering Educators?
I was very sick—I have chronic fatigue syndrome, in addition to physical disabilities—and my husband and I were thinking of ways for me to still write, be involved in international education, and share people’s work.
How long have you been doing it?
We started Wandering Educators in 2007.
How many people are involved and what is your role?
I am the publisher for Wandering Educators. I write articles for the site and oversee our editors. Some publish occasionally, while others publish their columns on a regular schedule. I also teach our Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program to teens that want to learn to write and share their travel and international education experiences.
What experiences stand out for your from doing this work?
I love the passion and intensity from artists, photographers, writers. It amazes me how much talent there is in the world—and I’m so happy to share it.
Secondly, my own passion is study abroad and international education (my Ph.D. is in this field!). I am honored to share stories, opportunities, and experiences in this field. In 2014, I was invited to the White House Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship, and it was an incredible
experience. I was recognized as one of the top 10 travel bloggers, and that led to an extraordinary trip to Turkey, as well as the opportunity to share MORE #studyabroadbecause stories. Our #studyabroadbecause tumblr has over 5k posts—so we’re reaching even more people, to encourage deep, educational travel.
What have you learned from publishing Wandering Educators and being involved in this whole world you’ve entered?
I’ve been amazed at the places we’ve seen, stories we’ve shared, the students I’ve taught (and who have taught me much), and the constant reaffirmation in the curiosity and goodness of people, all around the world.
How much travel does your site require of you?
Since I have several disabilities, travel is difficult for me. I travel when I can. I can take a big international trip about every 5 years and then spend the next 5 years recovering. I am lucky that we have so many great writers that can share their experiences in far-flung places!
Thanks, Jessie, for taking this trip with me on my blog!